The Diplomat. 11/10/2018
Teodoro Obiang is not happy with the answer of the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, to the invitation he formulated for Spain to be present at the commemorative events of the 50th anniversary of the independence of Equatorial Guinea, which will take place on October 12 in Malabo. As The Diplomat learnt, the Equatorial Guinean President expected a higher level delegation.
Obiang, apparently sent an invitation to King Felipe VI to visit Equatorial Guinea on the 50th anniversary of his independence of Spain. However, the presence of the Monarch was impossible on the date of October 12, because he has to preside over the events of National Day. The same can be said of the Chief Executive, whose presence in these acts is mandatory.
Sanchez could have chosen to send the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, on behalf of Spain, but decided, as The Diplomat reported, to limit the level of the representation to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Fernando Valenzuela, who will head a delegation that, on the other hand, is reduced and limited to personnel of the department. Although it was considered at some point to send a larger delegation, representatives of civil society linked to the former colony and province will not attend, unless they do so in a private capacity.
However, members of the Spanish Armed Forces will participate in a great military parade to be held in Malabo.
The representation level chosen by Moncloa has not satisfied Obiang, who, predictably, has understood that Spain does not want to give the impression that agrees with political evolution in Equatorial Guinea. On the contrary, the Government has chosen to be present at the event, because there is a shared history and many links between the Spanish and Equatoguinean peoples, but at the same time sends the message that a more democratizing attitude is expected from the regime.
In spite of unease caused by decision of the Spanish Executive, Obiang sent a letter of congratulation to Don Felipe, on the occasion of the “Día de la Hispanidad” and recently received the Spanish ambassador in Malabo, Guillermo Lopez Mac-Lellan.